The Chorale normally includes about 30 singers and performs music ranging from Renaissance to the modern era. The group rehearses four times per week, covering proper breathing, tone production, ear training, sight singing, and basic musicianship.
The Chorale presents at least three campus performances each year, including the annual Christmas Candlelight Service in the Irvine Memorial Chapel. Off-campus performances are scheduled each term, and each spring the Chorale participates in the Hershey Music in the Parks adjudication. In 2016, the group received a superior (highest) rating. In recent years the Chorale has performed at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City and at other venues throughout the Mid-Atlantic.
Chorale students may audition for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association’s district, regional, and all-state chorus. Bryan Morgan ’07 and James Brinson direct the Chorale. Membership is open to all Mercersburg students, and Chorale students receive two academic credits for the year. Students enroll through the school’s registrar during the normal class-selection process.
Bryan returns to Mercersburg as a member of the faculty after spending a postgraduate year at the school as a student. He graduated in 2007 from Mercersburg, where he played football and was involved in the Octet, Concert Band, and Stony Batter Players, as well as the African American Student Union. He went on to attend Duke University, where he was a four-year starter for the Blue Devils on the offensive line and won numerous athletic and academic honors, including a University Scholar Athlete Award from the National Football Foundation and a spot on the Allstate Good Works Team.
Bryan conducts the Chorale and Jazz Band and works with the Concert Band, teaches a course in mixing music, is an assistant football coach, and lives in Tippetts Hall. He grew up in Hoover, Ala. (just south of Birmingham). Bryan holds a bachelor of arts in music from Duke University and a master’s in music education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Jim is highly experienced in choral arts, organ performance, and music history. He is the school organist (appointed 2003), carillonneur (appointed 2009), director of Magalia (the school’s female a cappella group) and the Chapel music program, and assistant director of the Chorale. A graduate with distinction from both Union Theological Seminary’s School of Sacred Music and Rhodes College, he is a member of the American Guild of Organists and the American Choral Directors Association and an associate member of the Guild of Carillonneurs of North America.
Jim previously worked at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and School in Winter Haven, Fla., and at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, Tenn., where he served as a music staff member and organist and choirmaster at Church of the Holy Communion. He has also taught music history and organ performance at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla. Jim and his wife, Doree (who is a staff member in the library), lived in Swank Hall for several years and now live in a townhouse on campus.
A partial list of recently performed works:
Ahrirang (arr. Printz) Autumn Leaves (Mercer/Kosma/Prevert, arr. O’Connell) The Ballad of Sweeney Todd (Sondheim, arr. Beck) Be Thou My Vision Daemon Irrepit Callidus (Orbán) The Dance of Life (Spevacek) “Glory to God” from Messiah (Handel) Glow (Whitacre) In the Bleak Midwinter (Darke) John the Revelator (Caldwell/Ivory)
O Sifuni Mungu (First Call)
Sure on This Shining Night (Lauridsen)
Tears in Heaven (Clapton/Jennings, arr. Gabbitas)
“This Little Babe” from Ceremony of Carols (Britten)
Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center. Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. 100 Academy Drive, Mercersburg, PA 17236 GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236 717-328-6173